Choosing Who You Will Be and What You Will Be

People seem to have a basic need to blame others for their problems. Blame is assigning responsibility to another person for one’s fault, wrong, or contribution.

“You made me do it,” says Rob to his wife about his infidelity. “You’re always busy and tired when home. Don’t blame me. You’re to blame for what happened.”

I’m reminded of the original classic victims of “blaming” - Adam and Eve. When God held them accountable for their sin and disobedience, they resorted to blame.

Adam says, “It wasn’t my fault. It was that woman. She made me eat the fruit.”  For her part, Eve likewise deflected her own responsibility, “It wasn’t my fault. It’s the snake. He made me eat the fruit.”

At the end of his therapy, Nicolas, who used to blame his wife and parents for his addictions and bankruptcy, finally understood what it means to “own it up.”

As he “own it up,” not blaming anybody or anything but owning the mess he was in, he found hope for his self and life. He realized that, as long he continued to blame others, he will be a victim for the rest of his life.

As psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers put it, “ ... only one kind of counselee is hopeless: the person who blames other people for his or her problems.”

Freud’s psychoanalysis tends to reinforce blaming and remaining stuck as a victim. It says you’re a victim of what your parents have done to you and all you can do is accept and adjust to it.

This led Fritz Perls, once one of Freud’s disciples, to remark: “Psychoanalysis is a disease masquerading as a cure.”

We can transcend our wounded childhood to a very large extent. We don’t have to blame it and our parents for our troubles. We can take responsibility for our lives despite it, by reframing our blame. 

All of us have a power to choose who we will be and what we will be.